150 immunology trials in melanoma surveyed

February 21, 2005

According to Henry C. McGuire, Jr., M.D., attempts to treat cancerous tumors with immunological therapies are more than 100 years old.

According to Henry C. McGuire, Jr., M.D., attempts to treat cancerous tumors with immunological therapies are more than 100 years old.

"Our understanding of immunotherapy is rapidly advancing and should be translated into clinical results in the next few years," Dr. Maguire says.

Two immunological therapies have already been approved for melanoma. The oldest is a method of injecting the tumor with a live but attenuated strain of tubercule baccili.The other immunological therapy for melanoma is with alpha-interferon.

"It is very widely used now for patients who've been surgically cured of their disease but have a significant possibility of recurrence.

Also, a large number of therapies are in clinical trials. These include trials with different cytokines, such as Il-2, Il-12 and IL-15, and various tumor antigens.

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